8:11 AM ET

The Washington Commanders are fighting for a playoff spot and have turned to the quarterback who is already in the playoffs.

Taylor Heinicke will no longer be starting for the Commanders when they play the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.

He broke his ring finger in a win over the Chicago Bears. He didn't return to the active roster until December 17. Heinicke started all but one game for the team.

Washington has gone winless in its last three games. The Commanders have ranked 26th in red zone offense and 20th in points per game over his eight starts.

Heinicke was replaced in the fourth quarter by Wentz. The quarterback threw for 123 yards and a touchdown.

"I thought he was a little rusty when he first came in, but he got better as the day went on," Rivera said. It was good to see that he made decisions quickly. There are some things that he can work on.

Heinicke provided a spark with his mobility and penchant for late game drives. The Green Bay Packers and Indianapolis Colts both won, as did the New York Giants. Heinicke has been sacked 19 times in nine starts, with his ability to escape pressure allowing him to be sacked less.

With the Commanders struggling to finish drives of late, Washington decided to go with this move.

The Commanders wanted to know what Wentz could do for the offense. They saw what they wanted to see from his drives.

Rivera said that he showed that he is fully healthy, has fresh legs, and has a lively arm. He made decisions very quickly. His decision-making seemed to be right on, even though he showed us that quick twitch.

In April, Washington traded two third-round picks and a second-round pick to Indianapolis to get Wentz. Heinicke admitted during a spring news conference that he was the clear starter.

He had to learn a new offense for the first time. He played in the same system for five years with the Eagles and Colts.

He scored 55 points in his first two starts. The Commanders were able to manage 47 in the next four. He has been sacked 23 times.

The contract has two more years but no guarantees. If Washington keeps him, it could either restructure his deal or pay him over two decades. The free agent is Heinicke.

When Heinicke arrived in Washington in December 2020 as a fourth quarterback, he became a fan favorite. He lived with his sister and took classes to finish his degree.

He won over his teammates with his daring style of play and pylon-diving touchdown runs, even though he started the team's playoff loss.

Heinicke was extended by Washington for two years. After Ryan Fitzpatrick suffered a hip injury in the first week of the season, he started 15 games for the rest of the year.

Under Heinicke, the Commanders have a 12-11-1 record. They are 3-6 under other people.